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A great variety of knitting patterns are now more available and accessible than ever before, thanks in part to online pattern databases and publishing houses dedicated to knitting patterns — in Brooklyn Tweed’s library alone there are more than 500 patterns. With so many options to choose from, now is a great time to expand your current skill set and venture off into uncharted knitting territory! (Or shall we say, charted knitting territory?)

In Anatomy of a Brooklyn Tweed Pattern, the sixth installment of our Foundations series, we walk you through the information and resources that we provide in our patterns to ensure you have a well-informed and successful knitting experience, whatever the skill level the pattern may be.

Today we offer additional tips to help you build confidence with your craft — and boldly tackle that intricate lace, cabled, or brioche piece, or perhaps even your first seamed or colorwork garment.

(Patterns clockwise from top: Huck, To the Point, Hayward)

Remember that Skill Level ratings are not meant to be restrictive. A knitter who identifies as an advanced knitter may still be stumped by a pattern and one who identifies as a beginner may have few issues following the same pattern — so don’t feel intimidated by a higher skill rating!

In general, our Skill Level rating system is aimed toward giving you at-a-glance information on the types of techniques or construction methods that may be involved in the pattern, rather than being a hard and fast determiner of the types of patterns that you yourself can tackle. In Anatomy of a Brooklyn Tweed Pattern we break down the criteria we follow when assigning Skill Levels to our patterns. We also provide information on the construction of the item and the techniques involved in the pattern (both required and optional), so you know what to expect and can assess how this information meets your skill set long before you cast on.

Gather your resources. The great thing about knowing before casting on what construction methods and techniques are involved in the pattern is that you can prepare yourself by gathering your resources — be they a guide to abbreviations for common knitting terms, instructional videos on how to perform a certain stitch or finishing technique, or notes other knitters have provided about their experience working with the pattern.

Having these resources in one easily accessible place (perhaps as a collection of printed-out material or as bookmarks on your web browser) can be extremely handy when you find yourself stuck on a certain section of the pattern. You can also consult these resources to practice before starting your project.

Feeling well-supported is critical to a successful knitting experience. As such, we always provide in our patterns written instructions for the special techniques involved (whether required or optional) along with a handy list of abbreviations for the knitting terms and stitches used. Our abbreviations “dictionary” also includes written instructions on how to perform the particular stitches they stand for. In this way, you can be sure that your pattern and pattern resources are already assembled in one package.

(Patterns from Left to Right: Grove Mittens, Agnes)

Trust the process (and the instructions). One of the many magical things about knitting is that you’re creating your fabric itself, while also manipulating it to look, fit, or behave a certain way. Inherent to this method of making is a little bit of mystery — even with a schematic, you may not actually see how a piece will be shaped until you’re in the moment of shaping it, or what it will look like in its entirety until you’ve finished it. (Sock knitters, remember what it was like when you first turned a heel.) So, try to place your trust in the process and the pattern instructions. You can rest easy knowing that our tech editors and proofers work tirelessly to make our patterns as clear, concise, and reliable as possible.

Know that it’s OK to substitute techniques. There may be a simpler way to accomplish a specific technique — and these are often provided in our patterns — so don’t be afraid to substitute them to fit your comfort level. Some examples are working a Long-Tail Cast On instead of a Tubular Cast On or binding off normally instead of working a Sloped Bind Off. Some techniques may also have multiple variations. For example, some knitters prefer to work wrapless Short Rows instead of the Wrap and Turn method, or work a Long-Tail Tubular Cast On instead of the standard Tubular Cast On involving waste yarn. Play around, experiment, and practice multiple variations on techniques to find the method that works best for your knitting style.

In a similar vein, you can draw upon techniques you’ve worked in previous projects to evaluate how you can utilize them in a seemingly different application. For example, if you’re a cuff-down sock knitter who often grafts toes with a Kitchener Stitch, you’re all set to work a Tubular Bind Off!

Allow yourself to make mistakes. Many of us may develop a perfectionist streak throughout our knitting careers. While quality and perfection are worthwhile goals to strive for, it is still helpful and kind to allow yourself the room to make — and learn from — mistakes. It’s also helpful to determine what kinds of mistakes you can live with and what you can’t, so you can more judiciously allocate your time and effort.

In the words of Lela Nargi, author of Knitting Memories: Reflections on the Knitter’s Life, “There are no mistakes, only design opportunities.”

(Patterns from Left to Right: Yishu, Freja (To be released with Winter 18)

Practice new techniques on a smaller project. Try starting with something small, like a hat or a cowl. This way, you can practice and experiment in a more manageable way, and without the pressure of more yardage or fit considerations. The bonus is that accessories can be quite versatile and practical additions to your wardrobe rotation.

Ask for help. Don’t forget to ask for help when you need it. Your fellow knitters at your local yarn store, in your knitting group, or on Ravelry will be happy to help you if you get stuck. We also offer online pattern support for all Brooklyn Tweed patterns so always feel free to drop us a note at support@brooklyntweed.com.

Take notes. When trying something new, it’s always helpful to document your process, the issues you encountered, and how you solved them, either in a separate notebook or on the pattern itself (whether on paper or the PDF copy) — we leave plenty of negative space in our patterns for this reason! In this way, you can become a resource for yourself when you take on future projects.

Take a break. If you feel like you’ve been stuck at a certain point in a pattern too long for your liking, feel free to set your project aside for a moment. While we all want to be able to tackle a challenge immediately, it’s important not to overstretch our limits. As such, rest your mind (and hands) every now and again so you’ll have renewed energy and a fresher perspective when you return to your project.

Most importantly, have fun and keep at it. We all start somewhere — and knitting is a life-long learning experience!

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Since our move to the crisp air and evergreen leaves of the Pacific Northwest in 2015, we established a yearly tradition of weighing in and voting on our favorite Brooklyn Tweed patterns from the past year. We greatly enjoy this staff activity as a way to look back and remember our work, in eager preparation for what’s to come next. However, as this year comes to a close, we decided to mix up this edition of BT Staff Picks by instead nominating each of our favorite knitting moments of 2017.

Our friends and family members often joke that we must knit quite a lot in the office. The truth is that here at BT Headquarters, our days are devoted to providing our wonderful community of knitters with support, resources, and plenty of wool and thoughtful patterns! Still, like most of you, we love knitting and making, and understand its many benefits — for uplifting the soul and connecting with each other, most of all. As such, this Staff Feature, in the spirit of our Outpost Newsletter, is a way for us to dedicate space to our stories and thoughts on our venerable craft — stories of reclaiming calm, connecting, learning, and carving out a place in the world through wool.

My favorite knitting moment of 2017 was finishing Grettir in January. The Brooklyn Tweed team was having a Lopapeysa KAL when I started work here in fall of 2016. It felt like a great way to get involved with the rest of the team. I often think that a KAL is a good idea and then change my mind somewhere in the process. However, this was an exception because I was able to work with Shelter, which I love, and knit a sweater for myself with colors and in a style (circular) that I really like. It was a win-win for me. — Stephanie Engle, Production Coordinator

Because so much of my knitting time is composed of designing for patterns — a process of diligent note-taking, precise planning and execution, and the prospect of grading a garment for multiple sizes — I’ve learned over time to give myself personal knitting projects that free me from the pressure of publication, and allow for a more playful and spontaneous process. My favorite sweater from 2017 was knit in this way. I totally fell for Norah Gaughan’s cabled Staghead motif — so different from anything I’ve seen before on a sweater — and knew that I had to knit one somehow. I started swatching the cable with different Brooklyn Tweed yarn bases; when I swatched the panel with Quarry, the width blocked out to precisely match the cross-back measurement for the garment silhouette I was planning, which seemed quite a serendipitous sign. Putting the Stag on the back of a cardigan suddenly seemed like a great idea. Knowing the back would now be the focus of the garment, I built out from there, wanting to keep the rest of the garment classic. I experimented with a few other details as I went, too: linework detailing using double increases within the broken rib pattern at the center of the sleeves and a luxurious double-knit shawl collar that splits from a densely-knit button band. (Stag horn buttons seemed like the obvious choice for this piece.)

It certainly turned out to be one of the most unique sweaters I own — and, for better or worse, the one that has proven most likely to spark conversations with strangers! — Jared Flood, Founder + Creative Director

Of all the knits I have made this year, my favorite was Svenson. I’m fortunate to have a partner who loves to wear the knitwear I make for him, so I truly enjoy supplying him with a new handknit sweater every year that he can add to his rotation. When I saw the sample for Svenson from the Winter 17 collection, I knew it was going to jump to the top of my queue. Knit in Arbor, it also allowed me to fully enjoy knitting with one of our newest yarns. The pattern was a breeze to knit — once the rhythm of the cabling was established, I didn’t need to refer back to the charts. It’s a classic pullover that can be dressed up or down, and now that it’s finished, I think I may need to make a second one next spring for myself — the only hard part is deciding which color to choose. — Jen Hurley, Office Manager

Knitting is a lot of things for me; it’s a way to keep warm, a way to share a part of myself with the people I love, and a way to connect with other makers. Most importantly though, knitting is my self care. In a year of many changes I’ve found myself often reflecting on these wise words from Elizabeth Zimmermann, “Knit on with confidence and hope through all crises.” No matter what my day-to-day looks like, or what the state of the world may be, I have knitting to keep me grounded. Stitch by stitch, my trusty needles carry me forward into the future with the promise of a new row, a new day, and a new project to cast on. — Jamie Maccarthy, Customer Service

This year I greatly enjoyed knitting Cline by Julie Hoover. It’s a true basic that involves well thought-out details, making it both easy to wear and interesting to knit. I’ve gotten a lot of mileage out of the pattern by playing with yarn choices and making modifications — I knit Cline no. 1 with Shelter Marl and Cline no. 2 with Arbor and a laceweight alpaca yarn held together. The slightly different gauges mean that each version fits differently; Cline no. 1 is drapey and cozy, while Cline no. 2 (which I also modified with a hi-lo split hem detail) is slightly more fitted and cropped. I love and wear them both equally! However, the best thing about them may be that not many will think to ask if I knit them myself, but when I tell them I did, it makes them want to learn how to knit their own. — Anna Moore, Art Production Coordinator

This year I decided to relieve myself of the stress and burden of trying to knit all the things. Without worrying about how many garments I was going to finish before the end of the year, I was able to focus on knitting pieces that would wear well together in a cohesive outfit. I am particularly proud of my Cordova because I had envisioned knitting it for several years and learned how to seam in order to finish it; my Skiff with its generous pom-pom; and my Fretwork, which keeps me very warm when I’m walking my pup in the middle of the night. I’ve learned that knitting within a cohesive color palette makes your knits so much more wearable and allows for a polished outfit without effort. The small number of garments I made this year have already proven to be more utilitarian than most of my other hand knits combined. — Christina Rondepierre, Marketing Coordinator

I am surrounded by knitters, knitting, and yarn — night and day. Though I don’t call myself a knitter, I can knit and have knit a few things over the years, including a cardigan.

I have always wanted to knit Cobblestone by Jared Flood. I love that sweater. I find the design uniquely cool and within my skill level. The fact that I know the story behind the name and have seen the concept come to life from a paper sketch makes the choice even a bit sentimental. To treat myself, I chose Shelter in Long Johns, a color I have always associated with deep passion.

In picking up knitting again after a few busy years I was reminded of some key aspects of the knitting journey. First, time — the minute you cast on your first stitch, everything seems to slow down — your breathing, your thoughts, your goal-related anxieties. Second, silence — knitting is known as the perfect craft for introverts (something I am not); when I am knitting, I find it so easy to turn the volume of the mind down and to go into a no-activity inner zone. Third, learning — the number of different things one can accomplish by combining two basic stitches is absolutely remarkable. By contrast, it is so humbling to hear highly skilled knitters, like the ones I work with, comment on a new technique they had to master or a challenge they had to overcome. Knitting is a good reminder that we are eternal students. Fourth, striving for perfection — once you realize the amount of time you are investing in “making” something with your own hands, you start taking pride and become a very severe judge of your own mistakes. Far from being a perfectionist, I nonetheless can’t bring myself to knit on the next stitch or row if I see a mistake. The “undoing” of what you just did is the most effective (and painstaking) way to learn from your own mistakes.

In the last few weeks, I have made a habit to knit in the morning, when it’s still dark outside, helped by the light coming from the fireplace on one side and the Christmas tree on the other. The dogs seem to like this morning ritual, too, and are starting to hold me accountable, if I thought I’d skip a morning. I might have just found the motivation I was looking for to complete my Cobblestone by Christmas. — Luigi Boccia, Business Development

I’ve known how to knit since I was little, but it’s really only in the past few years that I’ve moved beyond the basics. I’m no longer just someone who knows how to knit — I’m a knitter. I can read my stitches, fix mistakes, change patterns for a better fit or to better suit my style, but beyond mere proficiency, I have found deep satisfaction in this craft and all the lessons I’ve learned along the way.

When Ondawa came out as part of Fall 14 I instantly fell in love, but couldn’t imagine actually being able to knit it myself. I thought it was far beyond my skills but this year I finally felt I was up to the task. Part of what makes this knit special is not that I’ve sailed through it without issue. In fact, there have been many mistakes so far. This knit is a milestone for me because any setbacks that have come up I’ve been able to overcome — after a deep breath or two, I calmly forged ahead. Even a year ago, a cable going off course or a chart read in reverse would have been cause for fits of frogging and a curse or two. But now I know how to spot mistakes before they become disasters, and can fix them with equanimity. My knitting is still far from perfect, but I no longer feel disheartened when a complex pattern tests my abilities. I feel ready for the challenge! — Lis Smith, Wholesale Specialist

What I love most about knitting is how there’s always something new to learn (no matter how experienced you may be) and how you’ll always have an astonishing amount of freedom to (re)imagine, (re)invent, and (re)create a piece to fit your needs and personal style. More importantly, there will always be lots of wonderful people in the knitting community who are more than happy to learn and explore the creative possibilities with you — hello, Ravelry!

My favorite knitting moment of 2017 is tied to these aspects of knitting. This month, specifically, I tackled my long-held fear of colorwork by knitting Junko Okamoto’s Yuri pullover. The determination to finally take on the challenge came when I saw this version on Ravelry. I realized that, when browsing patterns, I don’t take as much time to envision the piece in yarns or colors I prefer and that are different from those used in the sample. If there weren’t a strong knitting community in place dedicated to sharing their projects and processes to inspire and educate one another, I may not have considered the pattern at all!

And so, armed with plenty of wise words and encouragement from the rest of the Brooklyn Tweed team, I dove head-first into my first colorwork project and now I’m only two sleeves away from having a garment that I know I will love and cherish. I’m glad I stepped out of my comfort zone because it has not only allowed me to build confidence, take my craft to the next level, and connect with my team members, but it has also made me, a 100% product knitter, appreciate the process so, so much more. Turns out, both planning and executing colorwork is a whole lot of fun! Korina Yoo, Creative Coordinator

We hope that in reading our stories, you’ve recalled some of your own memories of knitting this year. We always love hearing from you, so feel free to share your thoughts below!

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Patch, our third Outpost pattern, pays homage to many a knitter’s first project — the humble garter stitch scarf. Lisa Carney-Fenton elevates this tried-and-true formula with four striping options and a clever method for a polished edge: her Elegant I-Cord Edge technique, which involves concealing the non-working yarn inside the edging, keeping it tidy and eliminating the need to weave in multiple yarn tails during finishing. These thoughtfully-considered details make Patch a delightfully versatile pattern to knit and an effortlessly cool scarf to wear.

Handknitting kits — ready to cast on or gift — for the Broad Stripe version of Patch in Arbor are available now in our webstore through the end of December. We thought up eight playful color combinations to give you an idea of the myriad possibilities our Arbor palette provides!

If you’d like to try your hand at assembling your own unique color combinations for the multiple versions of Patch, why not try experimenting with the schematic provided in the pattern? We’ve found it to be quite a useful visual tool when planning our alternate color combinations. Plus, there are few things more fun than a knitterly coloring page (download here)!

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In the second and third installments of our Foundations series, we covered the basics of swatching and seaming to aid you in tackling your knitting projects skillfully and confidently. Today, we’ll show you a quick and easy way to further practice these foundational techniques: by repurposing and seaming swatches to make lavender sachets!

These sachets are a delight to make for a number of reasons. First, they hit the sweet spot for both process knitters and project knitters — they’re truly approachable and suitable for practice because of their size and they make lovely, sweet-smelling finished objects that you can keep in a knitting bag or use in your knitwear care routine.

Second, they can be a great way to keep inspiration around you at all times. Perhaps you have a swatch for a visually-appealing intricate colorwork motif, or for a tactile-pleasing textured stitch pattern, or even for a simple stockinette fabric in a memorable yarn. Zip them up into a sachet that you can take with you for moments when you need a boost of creativity, or use to decorate your living or work space. (This project was inspired by the many development swatches we have strewn about the Brooklyn Tweed office!)

Third, they also make charming holiday gifts, either on their own or as a companion to another handknit.

What you’ll need

1) Two swatches of the same size

You can repurpose swatches that you already have or knit up two squares following our instructions in Swatching 101. Alternatively, you can use or knit up one large swatch that you can then fold in half to create your sachet (this method leaves fewer edges to seam).

2) A darning or tapestry needle

3) A few yards of firmly-spun seaming yarn in a matching color and of equal or lighter weight than your swatch yarn

4) Locking stitch markers or coilless safety pins

5) A sharp pair of thread/yarn snips

6) Loose lavender (cedar chips or shavings work well, too)

7) Fiberfill for stuffing (you can use wool roving or polyfill)

Zip it up!

Stack your two swatches with wrong sides facing each other, then seam the bottom and the two sides following our instructions in Seaming 101.  You can play around by mixing and matching the swatches that you choose! We made the sachet pictured above using two swatches for Galloway, with one side using the main colorwork motif and the other side using the lice motif on the body of the cardigan.

Once the bottom and sides are seamed, stuff your sachet with fiberfill and a couple scoops of loose lavender using the top opening. You can sandwich your loose lavender in between the fiberfill to prevent them from coming out of your fabric or bunching at the bottom of the sachet. Finally, seam the top closed. To hide the end of your seaming yarn, snip it leaving a tail of a few inches, then bury the darning needle in the sachet from a corner while scrunching the sachet. Push the needle back out, snip the end, then let the tail retract back inside as you coax the sachet into its original shape.

Alternatively, you can fold one large swatch in half; the fold will eliminate one seam. You can then seam two more sides before stuffing and seaming the sachet closed. You can also play with swatches knit in the round. We made the sachet below with a colorwork “tube” swatch by simply seaming the bottom, stuffing the pouch, then finishing off the top.

The rectangular shape makes this particular sachet work well as an eye pillow or as a wrist rest, so you can experiment with sizing too! For example, if you enjoy knitting large swatches, you can certainly repurpose them into a luxurious lavender-stuffed cushion.

However you choose to customize your sachets, we hope you’ll delight in the opportunity to practice foundational techniques on a small but gratifying project!

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In this season of gratitude and giving thanks, we at Brooklyn Tweed would like to extend our sincerest appreciation for your continued support and friendship. It’s because of all of you sharing in our passion for wool, knitting, and design that we can continue doing what we do.

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This holiday season, we’ve thoughtfully curated a selection of hand knitting patterns as well as kits, books, and stationery to warm the hearts of you and yours. Whether you have knitters in your life or are a knitter yourself, give the gift of inspiration and a woolly embrace!

Handknitting Kits

Our knitting kits are hand-assembled with care and ship ready to gift in a handsome, black Kraft paper box sealed with our Brooklyn Tweed label. Tucked inside, you’ll find enough pre-wound skeins of yarn for the kit project in the colorway of your choice nestled among recyclable decorative fill. The kits also include a coupon code for the kit pattern and a yarn care card, all slipped into a black envelope you can reuse for holiday correspondence. Additionally, at your request, we will happily include a handwritten note for your loved one for a personalized touch.

This holiday season, we’re offering seasonal handknitting kits for the Breckenridge Scarf, Fretwork Cowl, Skiff Watchcap, Skiff Beanie, and Voe Hat.

As a special gift, we’re also including a Notebook for Knitters in each kit through the holiday season. Available in three different designs, our notebooks are printed locally and are the perfect size for on-the-go writing, sketching, and recording progress on current projects — or planning future ones. Organize your thoughts using the index page, and flip to the back of the book for quick Needle Size conversions or measuring progress with the printed ruler!

Books

A happy addition to any knitter’s library are our pattern books: Woolens by Jared Flood, CAPSULE: Michele Wang, and CAPSULE: Olga Buraya-Kefelian. These are available in print form or e-book form and are the perfect gifts of inspiration for your knitter (or yourself!) as they plan projects for the coming year.

Sweater Cards

Send the warmest wishes to your dear ones with our Sweater Cards, a pack of 15 blank greeting cards featuring watercolor paintings of some of our most beloved designs from the Design Team’s archive. (Funnily enough, we’ve found that they can also serve as handy IOUs for a sweater gift-knit!)

Digital Gift Card

If you’re stuck on what to give the knitters in your life, gift the gift of choice with our digital gift cards! Completely stress-free, they’re a great way to ensure that your knitter finds the yarn and/or pattern they love.

Holiday Wishlist

Our Holiday Wishlist is a great way to take the guesswork out of holiday gift planning. Simply ask your knitter to download it here and fill in with their hand knitting kit, book, yarn, and/or pattern of choice — or fill it in yourself with your woolly wishes. (Don’t forget to check it twice!)

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We continue to feel inspired by the many beautiful garments that were knit over the course of our Fall 17 KAL and want to thank you all for joining us! Each day we have been met with lovely photos and have had the opportunity to share in kind conversations with knitters from around the world.

Though our Fall 17 knitalong is coming to an end, we hope you enjoy looking back on the #BTFall17KAL and #BrooklynTweedKAL tags as well as the BT Fan Club thread to relive the joy of knitting along. We encourage you to continue to share your photos of your Fall 17 knits with us — we would love to see your progress.

From left to right, top to bottom: jennaleeashburn, 0bev0, Elleinadxc, buddhasocks, Djour48, KettleYarnCo, carab3678

 

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Since Quarry first joined our family of woolen-spun yarns in 2015, we’ve found ourselves continually drawn to its unique charm and character. With its signature mix of lightness and strength, and an ever-growing color palette, now more than ever we find ourselves reaching for a few skeins of Quarry when our fingers are itching to cast on a new project.

Lightness of Hand

Quarry is uniquely lightweight and a joy to work with. Being carded instead of combed, the lofty jumble of fibers that make up Quarry’s chunky plies trap heat leaving you feeling bundled and warm. These same pockets of air that help retain heat also contribute to Quarry’s airy and buoyant nature once knit up. Being extra lofty, less “structured,” and more squishable, garments knit in Quarry, like our Ginsberg shrug from Fall 17, wear delicately, as if wearing a cloud.

Construction & Strength

To balance Quarry’s exceptional lightness of hand while also ensuring a bit more strength than a traditional unspun yarn, we collaborated with Harrisville during the development stages and decided to spin Quarry with a technique called a “mock twist.” This method of construction produces a yarn with a roving-style look by way of gently twisting together separate plies of unspun wool fiber. With its three plies nestled together, Quarry’s round structure and surprising tensile strength lends itself well to all sorts of fabrics, especially cables and brioche.

A Playful Palette

Quarry’s 15 hues are blended from the same pool of 17 core dyed-in-the-wool colors as Shelter and Loft, which translates to a beautiful and complimentary woolen-spun wardrobe. When creating colors, such as our new Garnet, Lapis and Granite colorways, Jared works closely with Harrisville to realize his vision by detailing specific new combinations of the core colors. Harrisville then fabricates “color pads” — carded fleece showcasing each proposed recipe — which are sent to BT headquarters for review.

Much like the striated rock formations of the Grand Canyon or the Painted Hills here in Oregon, Quarry reveals a variety of color effects when viewed in different light and at varying distances. With such beautiful texture and tonal colors, Quarry adds painterly grace to our 100% breed-specific and American produced core yarn line.

Share your adventures knitting with Quarry online using hashtag #QuarryYarn, and explore our pattern library to view the wide range of fabrics that can be knit with this expressive yarn.

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With a blaze of color about the shoulders and a vintage feel, it’s hard to resist the charm of the Voe pullover. Being fans of colorwork knitting, we leap at any opportunity to explore Loft’s 37 shades and Voe doesn’t disappoint in offering the potential for many exciting combinations.

Take a closer look at Voe’s yoke, however, and you’ll discover that it’s not just its prospect of color exploration that we love so much. Punctuating the motif’s peaks and valleys are tiny dashes of woven color. Let’s explore how they got there.

Generally speaking, when working a colorwork yoke the contrasting yarn needs to be “floated” along on the wrong side of your knitting when not in use in order to prevent puckering on the fabric’s right side and snagging on the wrong side. With Voe, instead of trapping these floats on the wrong side, select stitches are slipped with the contrast color floated in front of the slipped stitch, a design element that is simultaneously textural and practical. Of course, weaving a contrast color on the right side of the fabric paired with colorful, geometric motifs are by no means a new coupling. Our Voe pullover gives an aesthetic nod to the Swedish Bohus Stickning design movement of the mid-20th century.

The Bohus Stickning movement was quite an interesting moment in knitting history. It came about when a collective of women in Bohuslän, Sweden approached Emma Jacobsson in the late 1930’s with an idea. These women were looking for ways to support themselves, their families, and their communities in a time of economic depression and decided that knitting would be their means.

Since knitting was an accessible craft that many women in rural Bohuslän were already familiar with, their cooperative found great success in making and selling their wares. But as their group grew and their collective talents were joined with other artists and makers in their community, the simply-designed sock and mitt patterns grew into the more complex and couture sweater designs that Bohus Stickning is best known for.

Though Emma Jacobsson and the women of Bohuslän closed their doors in 1969, we can continue to admire the digital archives of their designs online and acknowledge the artistic and industrious work of these amazing women in our knitting histories.

If you’re interested in learning more about this vivid moment in the history of knitting, we recommend Wendy Keele’s book Poems of Color (1995, Interweave Press) as well as the article “A Bohus Revival” by Sarah Pope in the Winter 2015/16 issue of Vogue Knitting.

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